WaynesWord2

WaynesWord2 -- Startup Story on Saratoga.com

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       First off, I came here to Saratoga Springs initially for Entertainment, then for Inspiration, followed by a Quest for Romance, and eventually, for Employment.  Some of you reading this may be going in reverse order from what I did, but in any case it's now well-known as a cool place to live, year-round, or vacation, anytime.  When I first thought of moving here, mid-late '70's, it was not so robust a place as you see these days.  Saratoga at that point was very much a summer-- or weekend-only-- kind of  resort town.  The locals would laugh at you for looking for a job in September back then-- "The season's over... better go back where you came from..." I was once told, but I didn't take that advice, I liked it too much here.   It only took me about 10 years to figure out way to make a living here, but in the meantime there was...Entertainment, Inspiration, and Romance to be sought out.

        The first entertainment I found here was not at the Racetrack, but SPAC.  For those of you who made their first pilgrimage to Saratoga Performing Arts Center for a rock concert in their teen years, I share your history.   SPAC is a good way to start.  If you grew up in a small, fairly boring town with no compelling reason for tourists to visit, SPAC seemed like a mecca, a musical shrine where certain Performers returned year after year to the sacred amphitheatre with a gushing waterfall in the background and starry July or August skies overhead, to spill their sounds out to a hillside full of listeners and party people.  I had heard about legendary concerts there for a few years in advance of ever being able to go, growing up 45 miles away.  I never saw The Doors there, or The Who, when more than 35,000 fans were crammed into the place.  I never went to any Dead shows there, early or latter day. 

No, my first show was Emerson, Lake & Palmer...a likely long-forgotten British band that featured Greg Lake (formerly of King Crimson) singing lead vocals-- the most notable lyrics being appropriate years later... playing the part of the pitch-man at The Circus:

               "Welcome Back My Friends, to the Show That Never Ends...!!!"        
                  
 As a naive 16 year old, hunched under a blanket with my girlfriend, it was a dazzling display, better than any circus.  Swirling keyboards form Keith Emerson, strobe lights shooting outward through rising clouds of CO2 fog, thundering drums
and soaring guitars from amps cranked to the max in the middle of a forested park with no neighbors likely to complain about the noise--  this was legal??  There were couples writhing in the grass doing apparently whatever they wanted with each other.  The spirit of Woodstock seemed...for a few hours at least...to be available to those of us just a bit too young to have enjoyed it the first time around.  Bacchanalia
was in the air, and the car ride back to Ravena, NY was full of wonderment at what we had just witnessed.  Was it like that ALL THE TIME in Saratoga??  What an amazing place...

The next year, the only concert I could get a ride to happened to be another little-known band (at the time) who went by the strange (at the time) name of             
PINK FLOYD.    This would have been the year just before Dark Side of the Moon
was released... when the sax-line of MONEY was on every radio in America.  This band was a different experience altogether; instead of bombast and roller-rink organ, Pink Floyd gave you a mystical hallucinogenic groove that seemed to meander for hours on each tune-- I dimly recall the lyrics... "Set the controls...for the Heart of the Sun, the Heart of the Sun... the heart of the Sun..."   They were playing, for the most part, spacey music from an album I would later realize was called Saucer Full of Secrets.  But when they broke into the unreleased MONEY, with its searing, piercing sax riffs, and a bassline that was recognizable ever after, you knew this would be a SONG you would remember above all others of the evening-- we did NOT know however, that their next album, with that tune on it, would become a fixture on Billboards Top 100 for the next TWENTY YEARS.  Forty years later, the poster from that album cover can still be found in dorm rooms and dusty bohemian apartments across America.

Later I would see Santana a few times, Crosby/Stills/& Nash, Bob Dylan's various incarnations, Fleetwood Mac, Talking Heads, Tom Petty,  Stevie Ray Vaughn, Mahavishnu John MacLaughlin, and Miles Davis on that same stage... and about 80-90 other concerts plus countless Jazz Festivals over the years... more on those "some other time."    The point is, whatever else happened later on, my first impression of Saratoga Springs itself were those concerts at SPAC, and it colored my experience with the thrill of live music, viewed in a stellar, and, I repeat, sacred environment.   

During one of those rides back home, while I was on a break from college and first starting to think of such things, I pondered... "Saratoga is such a cool place to visit; wouldn't it be great to LIVE there??!"

That's what this blog is going to be about, my friends-- it's now been 35 years, more or less, that I've made this my permanent address, and chose to raise my family here,
and this is... what it's like to love a place like this.

Thanks for reading, more soon...

Wayne Perras

                         



5 Comments

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Congrats and we look forward to reading your blog Wayne. We love your writing style and the way to bring The Spa to life with your words, your memories and your fondness of the place we too love so much.

Thanks, whomever you are, collectively...yours was the first comment on this new blog of mine and I was a bit edgy about doing another entry till I read your note...got me psyched to keep going that day and sit at the keyboard some more... hope you keep reading...again, thanks. wp

Thanks for your comment but I can't take credit for the design-- the entire Saratoga.com site is programmed,created and marketed by Mannix Marketing of Glens Falls, NY. They make it easy for a non-techie like me-- who would still be using a Royal typewriter if he had his way--
to jump right in and start blogging. I must admit, it's a lot easier to edit your work as you go in this format, as opposed to ripping out sheet after sheet of paper and starting all over, as in the olden days...
I am happy to be among such talented people as are involved with this site, under Mannix's
direction.. The program the bloggers use is called Movable Type...perhaps that is available online, I'm not sure. Take care and keep reading... Wayne

Regards for this post, I am glad I noticed this website on yahoo.

thanks, very well written post, found it through a random google search and i shared it on my digg account

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Wayne Perras

Born in Hartford, CT., but from age 5 grew up in Ravena, NY, till graduation from RCS High as valedictorian in '73. Small-town America upbringing--safe and wholesome but you had to find your own excitement. Lots of sandlot sports and one basketball court downtown-- radios constantly playing-- AM Top-Forty tunes were heavyweight classics now. WRPI added later for musical expansion. Lots of books, magazines, & old school input before computers. Attended Colgate U. on scholarship for 2 years, mid-70's. Left school w/ 3.57 avg. to become a writer and travel the country like Kerouac. That was a big mistake in retrospect, could've used the degree later. Came to Saratoga in 1977 and liked it just fine-- much more stimulating even then than my hometown. Helped edit and publish a magazine called The High Rock Review, 1980-1983. Lost money but tried to celebrate "latent native talent." Read my own bad beatnik poems of the day, sometimes with musical back-up, in bookstores and once at The Tin Shop, a blast. Sold solar products during the first wave of green energy: hot air panel systems, batch heaters, and custom sunrooms. Did a long stint of college radio (WRPI, Troy 1978-1982, WSPN, Skidmore station 1980-1992) as a volunteer d.j.-- jazz, rock, funk, R & B, fusion, electronic, etc etc. Until I had kids, that gig was fun. But having kids has kept me connected with new music for the past twenty years anyway.

Procured real estate license in 1987, met my future wife Melinda that year as well, and we've been together since 1988. First child Miles born Jan. 1992, life changing experience for me. Second son Daryn June 1993, equally amazing in his own way. Daughter Bella born late 1997, a whole different kind of charm and intrigue. All three a challenge and a revelation in their own right-- as a former solo bohemian, I love now having a family.

35 years now of living in Saratoga, and coming up on 25 years of practicing the profession of real estate in this area. Have sold homes from Stephentown to Lake Luzerne, from Glenmont to Queensbury, but Saratoga County and the vale of Saratoga Springs in particular are my focus and zone of expertise. I follow the market with the long-view of a history buff, and the minute-to-minute analysis of an MLS fanatic. But this blog is more of a generic reflection on Saratoga life, and why it's worth living here.